Today I had occasion to reconnect with three people who were instrumental in molding my career — my friends Jeff Veen (user experience God), Bryan Mason (organizational wizard), and Maggie Mason (Mighty blogger and writer). I’ve always admired this trio and they’ve each inspired me in different ways. Jeff has an incredible way of looking at the web and making complex things simple. Bryan knows EVERYONE and uses his energy to bring everyone together to work towards a common goal (which is generally for something that betters the world in some way — and did I mention we share a passion for solving problems?) Maggie is one of the most entertaining writers I know, and, coincidentally, she’s mommy to a little boy who just turned two so her writing has recently veered towards the Mommy-centric. I credit Maggie for giving me the confidence to write in a public forum so you can thank (or curse) her for this blog. (You may recall an earlier post where I described my early writing process that involved many tears and bottles of wine.) Anyway, I’ve been so very busy and single-minded that I’ve neglected to spend the time with people who are doing fascinating and progressive projects that get me to think differently. I doubt they realize what a huge impact they’ve had on me and my career but with the magic of the Internet, I’m sure they’ll soon find out. So thank you my friends and it was great to see you.

A few other things have happened recently. Walker has continued to CREATE at school. He’s doing a lot more drawing and I continue to be impressed at how well he colors in the lines. Some of his projects have included cut outs and tape. Today I brought home a large cut out bunny that was stapled to a brown piece of paper rolled in a tube so it’s sort of like a Bunny on a Stick. All these projects have been stored in Walker’s new folder that hangs on the wall at school. It’s so exciting to walk in to Sofiya’s and check his folder for the latest creation.

And how do we get all these items home? Sofiya suggested Walker was old enough for a little backpack. Boy, was she right! On Sunday we went to the toy store in search of something — I had been hoping for a small bag with some astronauts and rockets on it but we had to settle for a blue bag with a generic “Football U” on it (I’ll be sewing some space patches over the existing embroidery). Who cares what I like? Certainly not Walker because the pack is his new favorite possession. Each morning, when we get ready to go, we put on shoes, pick out our favorite coat of the day, and put on our backpack. He’s so proud of himself and feels like such a big boy that I think he’s an inch taller by the time we walk out the door.

Speaking of big-boy, last night we refinanced our house (again — we got an amazing rate so there’s one benefit to the economic “downturn”). Walker was very patient but really wanted to be a part of the process. For those of you who haven’t been through this, you must know you have to sign and initial about 100 documents. And both of you must do it. Walker wasn’t going to let us have all the fun; he very much wanted to assume some of his own debt. So he sat down at the kitchen table with Mommy, Daddy and Notary, took his pen and started signing loan papers. The Notary was quick to accommodate his desires, giving him some of his very own pages with check marks, “x” marks, stamps, and signature lines. Thirty years from now, I’m sure he’ll be thrilled to know we considered him “Borrower #3”.

I can now check off one of those items on my “must do before I die” list. For most of you, it’s likely not terribly exciting. But for me, well, it’s a big deal. I’ll be able to clothe my family should we all have to return to our Pioneering roots. I learned to crochet. (Now is the time when you picture our interesting little family dressed as Pioneers from the 1974?) I went to the Adobe Yarn Craft Club (OK, so it’s a knitting club but people crochet too so I’m going to be craft-agnostic to avoid any controversy), and in five minutes, a woman showed me how to double crochet a hat. I’m a fast learner and have had a few meetings where I needed to relieve a bit of stress so I made two hats in less than a week. These were donated to a homeless shelter with more than 45 other knit and crochet hats created the good folks at Adobe. It appears a bit square in the photo but that’s only because of the inflatable packing material I got with my Amazon.com order that I jammed in there to give it a bit of depth for this very professionally art directed photo taken with my iPhone…

And I’ll end with one comment. Walker has given Wilson another nickname. The cat once known as WillyBean, Beano, Mr. Bean and Mr. Three Fang is now affectionately known as “Rwaow.” The large kitty doesn’t “meow” like most cats but rather, he has a more guttural “rwaow” and he likes to talk. Yeah, that nickname is gonna stick.

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